CDC Seeing Increase In Adolescents Hospitalized With COVID-19

Dr. Jeffrey Kahn of Children's Health and UT Southwestern, says the new CDC data showing this national trend underscores the importance of getting young people vaccinated.

Video Transcript

- Health experts are urging families to vaccinate their teenagers after a new report from the CDC showed an increase in the number of adolescents hospitalized for COVID-19. Caroline Vandergriff takes a closer look at the data and what it means for young people.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: In March and April, more and more children between the ages of 12 and 17 years old were being admitted to the hospital for COVID-19.

JEFFREY KAHN: Adolescents get infected, adolescents get sick. A high percentage of the adolescents that they report were in the ICU.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: The new CDC data highlights the continued risk of the virus to young people.

JEFFREY KAHN: 30% of the adolescents that were hospitalized had no underlying risk factors.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, the chief of infectious disease at Children's Health, says the national trend also underscores the importance of getting adolescents vaccinated. The shot is now authorized for anyone over the age of 12.

JEFFREY KAHN: So if you have a child in your home who is eligible to get a vaccine, get them vaccinated.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: What do you think are the main misconceptions or fears parents have when it comes to getting their children vaccinated?

JEFFREY KAHN: I certainly understand that hesitancy. This is a relatively new vaccine. There are all kinds of rumors out there about this. But for the most part, it's an extraordinarily safe vaccine.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: According to the CDC, about 6.5 million young people in the US, ages 12 to 17, have received at least one dose of the Pfizer shot. It's the exact same one adults get and is available at neighborhood pharmacies, county vaccine clinics, and even through some school districts. Dr. Kahn says for teens to safely return to a more normal life, they need to get vaccinated.

JEFFREY KAHN: My concern is that there's going to be lingering COVID for months, if not years, if we don't take advantage of this particular situation right now and get everybody vaccinated.

CAROLINE VANDERGRIFF: Caroline Vandergriff, CBS 11 News.

- Well according to the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, there were three COVID-19 patients under the age of 18 in area hospitals just last night.